Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Left Over Night

I started a new job last month...and it's been great to be back in the workforce.  I will admit, though, that being back at work doesn't allow me the time I'd like for meal planning (of course).  I used to hate cooking.  Once I became unemployed last March, I was a woman on a mission.  We didn't have very much of anything and I was determined to make the most out of what we had.  I was the shoe-string meal MASTER!

Now that I'm back at work...and it's shift work at that...I have been very good about not buying lunches out.  In 4 weeks, I have only bought one bagel from Tim Hortons...and that is saying a lot!  I make all of my lunches ahead of time and package them up so that I can see them even if it were still dark out.  Coming home to my husband in the kitchen and my son yelling MUMUMUM! as soon as I walk through the door...its been wonderful!

Last night we decided it was time for a left over night...and it was definitely a smorgasbord!  See picture below... 

Its not the most colourful meal I've ever taken a picture of...but the taste was DEVINE!  Clock-wise from the top:  Tourtiere from the local farmer's market, spatzle that my hubbie Chester made one evening I worked, and fried cabbage with apples.  This post is going to discuss the cabbage mainly, but I'll also include a bit on spatzle.  Before I move on, I'd like to add that the tourtiere (for those who've never had the pleasure) is a french meat pie with mashed up potatoes in the meat mixture.  I buy mine from the farmer's market here in Verona.  It's made with pork and tastes almost exactly like the ones my step mom Mary Elaine would make at Christmas time.  How flavours can carry so many memories is beyond my comprehension!

This is a close up on the cabbage.  First off I am not a fan of cabbage.  I'm not sure that growing them last summer turned me right off of them I wasn't a huge fan before that...but when I saw how they hve a habit of harbouring slugs and earwigs...ugh....

I would probably research more about how to keep the pests off of them...if I liked them a little more.  That could explain why I'm not planning to grow any this year. 

That was...until Ches made this side dish a few nights before.  WHOA MOMMA!  It was the most amazing taste.  He used about a half of a cabbage, sliced julienne, and added some of our frozen apples that were already peeled and sliced.  There was some water and vegetable broth, a splash of apple cider vinegar, a dash of salt and pepper and a little dap of dijon mustard.  The result was pretty inconspicuous'd never expect something this bland coloured to taste so vibrant.  Add a little butter and a turn of your salt grinder...serve while warm!  If you require more colour from your side dish, you could always leave the peels on the apples, or use red cabbage instead.

We get a monthly food box stuffed with veggies...and we've gotten a cabbage in each box for the last 3 months.  I don't even want to look at the things, so I'm very happy that Ches did something useful with them! 

The spatzle is a funny far as I know, my husband has no German blood in him...but every now and then he gets a HUGE craving for this german side dish.  Apparently, his maternal grandfather and name sake Chester Lane used to make it on occassion.  Its basically a dumpling.  The Joy Of Cooking recipe is as follows:

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup of milk

6 cups of salted water

Mix dry ingredients together.  Mix in wet ingredients.  Form a batter ball and force through a pasta strainer into the simmering water or stock in a frying pan.  Toss in pan until brownish.  Serve while hot.   My husband likes to add a sprinkle of nutmeg or parmesan to the mix.  Both good variations indeed!

In a typical meal I don't like to have so many carbs going on, but I did preface this post by saying it was left over night.  Not shown is the huge salad I made to go with the meal.

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